20 January 2013

Africa: Ethiopia Fourth in Reducing Under Five Mortality Rate

Ethiopia became the fourth out of 10 African countries which managed to reduce preventable deaths of children under the age of five, by 60pc over the last 20 years since 1990, a new study presented at the African Leadership for Child Survival held in Addis Abeba last week indicated.

Between 1990 and 2010, under-five mortality dropped by 35pc worldwide. Yet, every day, nearly 21 000 children under-five die mostly from preventable causes, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). Close to 99pc of all under-five deaths occur in developing countries.

More than 70pc of almost 11 million child deaths every year are attributable to six causes: diarrhoea, malaria, neonatal infection, pneumonia, preterm delivery, or lack of oxygen at birth. An Ethiopian child is 30 times more likely to die by his or her fifth birthday than a child in Western Europe. Currently, under five children mortality has been reduced to 88 per 10,000 live births from the 217 deaths a few years ago.

Senegal is currently leading the decline in the under five mortality rate followed by Malawi and Zambia.

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